Green Deal hard-to-reach households panel convenes

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New group looks at how to ensure the poorest and most vulnerable in society can access the benefits of the Green Deal and the ECO.

A new group tasked with looking at how to ensure the poorest and most vulnerable in society can access the benefits of the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) met for the first time in London today.

The Green Deal Hard-to-Reach Households Panel is chaired by South Thanet MP Laura Sandys and includes membership drawn from a number of organisations that represent or work closely with these groups, including Age UK, Citizens Advice, Local Authorities and Which?

The panel will provide recommendations to DECC Ministers including an overview of the main barriers to the take-up of the Green Deal and ECO for this group. It will consider the most effective and efficient means to help overcome these barriers, helping to raise awareness and drive uptake.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:

I want to ensure everyone is able to reap the benefits that the Green Deal has to offer. This means getting the message out right across the country, including to the most vulnerable households. I am delighted that Laura Sandys MP has agreed to chair this new group and I look forward to receiving their recommendations.” 

Laura Sandys MP said:

The Green Deal has the potential to hugely reduce the number of people living in fuel poverty. Customers could be protected from rising energy bills by upgrading their homes so that they are cheaper to heat for good. Ensuring that the energy efficiency scheme can be accessed by those living in the hardest to treat homes will be vital if this scheme to succeed.

With a wide range of expertise on board, this panel will seek to identify some of the key challenges that might prevent vulnerable households from accessing the Green Deal. The panel will be submitting a series of recommendations to the Minister in advance of the nationwide roll-out.